Monday, February 17, 2014

Raise the Praise

This month the theme of my sermons is PRAISE. My first message was on the Index, Importance and Impact of Praise, particularly looking at four P's that Praise Raises!

Below is a brief outline of the message:

Praise is a choice

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6 The word "let" means to "choose to allow" - Praise is a choice and we must choose to do it no matter how we feel.

DEFINITION: “To express strong approval or admiration for someone or something, especially in public.” Macmillan Dictionary

Praising God is showering our approval and admiration on him, especially in public.

1. INDEX OF PRAISE – 7 words for PRAISE In English there's only the single word "Praise" used throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms. However, in Hebrew (the original language of the Old Testament) there are seven words translated as "Praise".

They are:

YADAH – Hands be raised in surrender – palm outwards (Ps 63:4)

TODAH – sacrifice of praise – palm upwards (Jer 33:11)

BAROUCH – With a quiet voice – kneeling to bless God (Ps 95:6)

ZAMAR– To make music – praise on an instrument (Ps 21:13)

SHABACH – Shout for Joy/Victory (shout a name of the Lord) (Ps 145:4)

TEHILLAH – Singing praises (especially new songs)(Ps 22:3; 42:10)

HALLEL - Let your soul rejoice (clamorously foolish – eg. dance Ps 149:3)

The first thing that praise raises is our POSTURE - it gives us a POSTURE RAISE. Looking at the seven words above we see that praising God involves the whole body. Many times our spiritual posture is all hunched over in despair and defeat, but the Lord is the glory and the lifter our our heads. Let us choose to daily praise him with all our strength. As the Psalmist says:

“Seven times a day I praise (Hallel) You, because of Your righteous judgments.” Psalm 119:164 (NKJV)


a.Praise is a good thing

“It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to your name O most high” Ps 92:1 “Praise (hallel) the Lord! For it is good to sing praises (zamar) to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise (tehillah) is beautiful.” Psalm 147:1

We are commanded to praise the Lord because He knows it is good for us. Praise is good, pleasant and beautiful. We look good in praise and it is most enjoyable.

The second thing that praise raises is our PLEASURE - it gives us a PLEASURE RAISE.

b.Praise declares who He is

We praise Him for He is… Full of glory (Psalm 138:5), Great (Psalm 145:3), Mighty (Psalm 145:4), Wise (Daniel 2:20), Good (Psalm 107:8), Merciful (Psalm 89:1), Saviour (Psalm 18:46), Faithful (1 Kings 8:56), Gracious (Psalm 103:1-3), Provider (Psalm 136:25).

The Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Ps.22:3. As we praise Him for who he is we invite His manifest presence. The atmosphere changes from mourning to dancing, from ashes to joy.

The third thing that praise raises is His PRESENCE - it gives us a PRESENCE RAISE.

c.Praise is our call and destiny

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11 (NKJV)

Praise is what we are created to do and is the final destiny of all His creation. Indeed as we praise Him we are entering into His purpose and the Lord will bring greater revelation of our calling and destiny.

The fourth thing that praise raises is our PURPOSE - it gives us a PURPOSE RAISE.


The fifth and last P is that praise releases POWER - it gives us a POWER RAISE.

a.Blesses God

As we praise God it impacts God Himself by ministering to Him (Acts 13:2 – they ‘ministered to God’, giving Him pleasure and blessing His heart. As it blesses Him he will in turn pour out His blessing on us.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev 4:11

b.Builds us up

As we praise God it strengthens our faith (Col 2:6-7) and is good for us in so many aspects. Proverbs 17:22 tells us that a merry, praising heart is like medicine and Nehemiah 8:10 declares that the joy of the Lord is our strength. As we praise God we are strengthened, healed, filled with joy and built up!

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Col 2:6-7

In Deuteronomy, God pronounced a curse on the children of Israel: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything," (28:47). On the flip side, if we serve God with praise and joy then all His promised blessing are released.

c.Binds the enemy

“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.” Ps 8:2

Why does praise defeat Satan? Satan's sin was jealousy of God. He is still driven by jealousy today (Is. 14:13-14). Even if he can't get people to worship him, his goal is to keep people from worshiping God. He seeks to draw attention away from God. When we praise God, we thwart Satan's plan, effectively silencing him and his plans against us.

Because of all this let us be like Paul and Silas. Even though they were in chains in prison they let their praises rise up to heaven. They had a POSTURE RAISE leading to a PLEASURE RAISE with a PRESENCE RAISE, PURPOSE RAISE and POWER RAISE all at once!

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” Acts 16:25-26